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xhoss 09-18-2003 11:19 AM

Any way to find out...
Is there any way to find out which photographers mark your comment as "not useful"?

I'm pretty new to the site, and I really love it. But I was a little dissapointed to see some comments that I had made were "not useful"

The reason that I would like to know who marked them as not useful is so that I can make sure that I don't take any more time out of my busy life to comment on their pictures. I haven't had a lot of people mark them this way - but its just a little frustrating. Short of someone telling me that they think I stink as a photographer - I wouldn't mark any comments as "not useful".

And if there is no way to find out - can I recommend to the site admins for there to be a way?

I'm sure that I can't be alone in being a little frustrated, and want a way to not comment on certain people who don't appreciate your point of view.

And just to clarify, I understand why the "not useful" marker is there - it could be useful to highlight potential trouble makers etc., and I think that it should be there...just open for all to see who didn't appreciate your time and thoughts.

gary 09-18-2003 12:04 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
Didn't know this was available to see. How/where can I see the rating on my comments?

xhoss 09-18-2003 12:20 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
see that little star by your on it and a little box will pop up and show your voting breakdown.

gary 09-18-2003 02:40 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
Cool! Didn't know that. Cheers.

gary 09-18-2003 02:52 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
I wouldn't worry about it though. I've just had a quick scan through some members' points and it seem that almost everyone who makes critiques has at least 1 "not useful" point. The more critiques you make, the more likely someone will find one not useful.

It's not just the person who posted the picture who can mark the comment - anyone who reads them can give an opinion, so knowing who gave you a "black mark" would not achieve anything.

It's just a fact of life (and a good one at that) that not everyone thinks the same. World is often a better place for it.


chalcone 09-18-2003 03:00 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
Luke, I wouldn't worry about it. I understand where this is coming from, as I felt the same when I first started leaving comments and got 3 unappreciative responses. The more I lingered in this site, however, the more I get the feeling that the vast majority is open-minded about critiques - and ungrateful trolls are far-outnumbered.

Don't get me wrong, but I feel the *ranty* spirit of DPC getting the better of ya :). Careful!!! Mike

Edwin 09-18-2003 04:15 PM

Re: Any way to find out... (I)
Hi there Luke.

Firstly let me welcome you to TE. Just out of curiosity I took the time to have a look at and I tried to learn something from you.

After having read your posting I felt that I might be ably to clarify the comment's rating system. Especially after your line "I understand why the "not useful" marker is there - it could be useful to highlight potential trouble makers" I concluded that you probably misunderstand this rating system.

If I would have to come up with three keywords to describe TrekEarth mostlikely I would summarize that TE is about Photography, Understanding and Learning. Learning by means of inspiration (to analyze work from other members), by means of discussions (to comment or to exchange experiences) but also by means of feedback.

Though the comment's rating system is limited, it does have a clear function. Just like the comments you receive it provides you the opportunity to learn. Both positive and negative criticism can be constructive and learnful as well depending one the person who recieves them and how willingly and open-minded that person is to benefit from that criticism. With other words, seeing and taking the opportunity to learn from others.

Having said this the "not useful" marker is far from used for highlighting trouble makes but moreover used to discourage members to give ratings such as "Cover of a magazine", "Love this one" or "Great shot".

Edwin 09-18-2003 04:16 PM

Re: Any way to find out... (II)
I'm sure that I can't be alone in being a little frustrated, and want a way to not comment on certain people who don't appreciate your point of view.

Hopefully you understand now -in this perspective- that it is not the people's reflection of not appreciating your point of view, or not appreciating your effort to write comments but merely give you the opportunity to learn.

Personally I find it quite daring to write critiques and one comes much more vulnerable by writing them. Even your little frustration is a prove of that.

However I do hope that you continue with reflecting your opinion Luke.

And don't forget my friend that life is a learning process that never ends ;-)

Best regards

BobTrips 09-18-2003 07:00 PM

Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
If we were able to tell who checked the 'Not Useful' I suspect that there would be a significant amount of fighting.

I'd do this:

Look back over your critiques. See if you gave the equivalent of "Great job!" or "This one stinks!" comments.

Comments, in my lexicon here, are responses given that contain no elements of critique. They provide no information as to why the image is good or what might be done to improve it (or future shots).

Quite literally, these comments are 'Not Useful' in my book. Praise is nice, we could possibly use a method to toss bouquets to images that we like. But empty praise (or condemnation) doesn't a critique make.

If you don't find that you've given empty comments, look to see if other critiquers have greatly disagreed with you. Perhaps you were wildly off base from time to time. (We all have bad days.)

If your personal 'Not Useful's don't seem to fall into one of the two above categories, I think it safe to assume that someone isn't good at accepting criticism, that they have some need for personal growth. That isn't your problem.

I find it best to try to find something good to say about an image along with my criticism. A little sugar helps the medicine go down.

xhoss 09-20-2003 06:47 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
Thanks everyone for responding...sorry that I didn't earlier, I was having fun with hurricane isabel (my power was out for a good while)...I appreciate others thoughts on the subject.

Apparently not everyone liked my openness and sincerety with this thread as my "not useful" numbers shot up considerably...just reafirms my belief that it shouldn't be a faceless thing...but even grown ups can act like kids behind the safety of their keyboards i guess.

Oh well, I was just venting - of course I will continue to comment, as I like to get comments on mine...and I feel that I need to contribute to the community in order for me to receive as well.

Sorry if I offended anyone...apparently I did...I just wanted to see if anyone felt like me.

Coyote 09-20-2003 07:24 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
We all feel like you when we get a "not useful", most probably feel like "what did I do to deserve such a horrible stigma" attached to my name? At first we do and then you have to learn to live with it, not everybody is going to agree with you and the old phrase "but, where's the love" doesn't apply. LOL Just go on giving it your best shot and not worrying about the NU's you get. If you critique a lot, you are going to get some, I do. It would be a pretty boring place if we all thought alike all the time. Just have fun, learn and share your knowledge- that's what we're here for.

xhoss 09-20-2003 08:29 PM

Re: Any way to find out... (I)
I guess that I just want to say one more thing in reply to Edwin's comment:

"Having said this the "not useful" marker is far from used for highlighting trouble makes but moreover used to discourage members to give ratings such as "Cover of a magazine", "Love this one" or "Great shot"."

I personally want ANY and ALL comments. If someone just wants to write and say - "nice shot" - that can be just as powerful as a useful critique.

And you don't even need to mark it one way or another. If its not helpful OR not useful...just leave it as neutral.

I don't want to feel that I have to leave critiques on every shot...some shots are just so good that you can't say much else than "nice shot".

Critiques are good, but someone taking the time to leave anything at all would be better for this community in the long run IMO.

BobTrips 09-20-2003 08:49 PM

Some feedback on your 'Not Usefull's...
I took a quick look at your comments. To me they tend to be "Great shot!" comments, but using more words.

You seldom make any comments that show a critical eye (which is why I used "comments" and not "critiques" in my first sentence). There's the rare, 'bit of straightening' type suggestion, but in general there's no meat in the stew.

If you were to give me a comment such as you usually do I would feel it 'Not Useful'. I seldom check this box, just ignore low information posts. Sounds like other people do check the box.

I found nothing in your comments that anyone should find offensive so I don't think that's the reason. I don't think it's a case of grown ups acting like kids and burning you for giving them real criticism that they really didn't want to hear.

I would guess that I get a fair amount of "I don't want to hear the truth, or your version of the truth" 'Not Useful's. But since I turned off the point system I don't see (or get bothered) by that data.

xhoss 09-20-2003 09:02 PM

Re: Some feedback on your 'Not Usefull's...
while i certainly respect your opinions and view point bob, i wonder why comments have to be written with a critical eye?

I can't be alone in wanting ALL comments - not just ones that propose changes in the composition, etc.

Sometimes seeing a "great shot" comment is better than an in depth critique.

Yes, I have more of a supportive brand of commenting as opposed to your style.

And you read my comment about the grown up acting like kids in the wrong context....i said that because my not useful numbers went up since i started this thread.

But all I was pointing out was that I wanted to identify people such as yourself who didn't like that kind of comments, and make sure that I don't comment on any of your pictures. That way were both happy - you don't get what you don't want - and I don't take the time.

I appreciate your time in responding.

BobTrips 09-20-2003 10:08 PM

Writing and viewing with a critical eye...
Let's go back to Adam's wishes for the site. He's made it clear that he want the critiques to be critiques, not bouquet tosses.

I'll agree that bouquet tosses feel good. But that's not the point of critiques as I understand them.

When I read critiques I want to learn something from them. I want to learn in which ways the image is good and/or how I might improve it or future shots. Wading through a lot of "Great shot!" and "Me Too!" posts is a waste of time, even more so when someone takes a dozen words to say almost nothing. If someone has already said that the composition or color or whatever is great, there's no reason to repeat that statement.

And there is absolutely no reason why one can't be supportive while being critical. In fact, I think it's very important to be supportive along with your criticism. I make a concerted attempt to make some positive comment(s) about every shot I critique.

The only real conflict that I think we've ever had on this site was over one member who was extremely harsh in her comments and offended lots of people.

I'm a little hesitant about replying to your post. It seems like you're a bit ruffled over all this. I don't think people have gone back and marked your comments 'Not Useful' because you started discussing the issue. I think it's as likely, or more likely, that someone has read some of your comments and given you some feedback on the lack of critical viewing.

I think that this is a very friendly and supportive community. I don't think we have many, if any, twisted folks who engage in retributive behavior.

And, let me repeat a suggestion that I've previously made. I think this site needs a 'Bouquet Button'. Just some place to click when one thinks that it's a 'Great Shot!'. Then people have a way to give praise without cluttering up the critiques. Seems like this way everyone would win.

xhoss 09-20-2003 10:37 PM

Re: Writing and viewing with a critical eye...
Bob, again, I appreciate your posts, however I think that you are not seeing my point.

I think that, as you say, bouquet tosses can be a beneficial aspect of this site. Some people want them, some don't. If I throw them, and see that a particular person, or persons don't want them, I won't throw them! I just wanted to know, im my first post, if there was a way to see that. Obviously by now, I know that there is no way to see this information.

And I do take issue with you dissmissing my comments as not much...I really take my time to look at every shot that I comment on. And if I choose to agree with the photographers choice of composition, POV, DOF, ISO speed, etc, that doesn't make it any less important. Applauding specifics as opposed to proposing changes to them can be just as beneficial. I have gotten comments to this degree applauding things that I had not even seen or thought of.

I guess that we agree to disagree.

adam 09-20-2003 11:22 PM

Re: Any way to find out...
"Is there any way to find out which photographers mark your comment as "not useful"?"

As you've found out, no there isn't a way by design, as I didn't want this to cause a breakdown in community harmony between certain members. By the way, I see less of a need for the 'not useful' rating as empty critiques are no longer allowed.

That being said, although these ratings are anonymous to members, they are not anonymous to me. And since retribution is not permitted on TE, if a member notices a jump in their 'not usefuls', they can let me know and I will look into it.

In your case I decided to research your 'not usefuls' and didn't notice anything particularly out of the ordinary. But then I began looking further into some other members and could not believe what I found. Massive retributions against a couple of members (for whatever reason) off of rather useful critiques (IMO), and massive 'usefuls' for a couple of members for empty critiques such 'I like it', etc.

Due to such behavior, I will be changing the TOS. If I encounter such massive attempts at retribution, that member's ability to rate critiques will disappear entirely.

mdchachi 09-21-2003 03:15 AM

Re: Some feedback on your 'Not Usefull's...
> Apparently not everyone liked my openness and sincerety with
> this thread as my "not useful" numbers shot up considerably...

That's not necessarily the reason. You brought attention to yourself. I also looked through your critiques and felt neutral about just about all of them. The one that said "cover shot nice" or whatever is the kind I would have normally marked as 'not useful' though I didn't in this case.
So I think the few extra marks you got were just a matter of more eyes looking at your critiques, not retribution. I doubt that you offended anyone.

> I can't be alone in wanting ALL comments - not just ones
> that propose changes in the composition, etc.

I also like getting comments -- even "nice shot" ones. It feels good and shows people are appreciating you. However, the Terms of Service clearly state that these kinds of comments are discouraged and that critiques should state why, specifically, you like a shot or how, specifically, you think it can be improved. If I get a simple "nice shot" comment on my photos, I never mark them as Not Useful however if I happen to see such a comment on somebody else's photo, I will sometimes mark it as Not Useful though most of the time I just ignore them.

There was some talk about having a separate way to comment on a shot outside of the critique field but I don't know if that is in the works to be implemented or not.
The best thing is to just ignore the points & statistics completely. Go to your profile and turn 'em off.

ronners 09-21-2003 06:06 AM

What is a useful critique anyway?
In the past members have been known to ask for guidance on writing critiques, which I for one would be loathe to do as it is against the spirit of encouraging free thinking.

However, the debate about critiques continues to rumble on. Let's face it, many people would just rather let their photos do the talking, but like to give a photographer credit for good work. This, in my view, is where 'good shot' comes from. Disparaging members because they don't give voluminous critiques is against the spirit of TE.

My opinion is that a good critique teaches me as much as the artist whose work I am commenting on (I purposely use the two terms interchangeably). A good critique takes time and thought, and hence obliges you to think WHY you do or don't like a particular photo. Subsequently, you apply these new opinions to your own photography, and it benefits as a result.

I can't tell you how to critique a photo, but I can tell you to write the second thing that comes into your head, not the first. The first is that you like/don't like a photo. The second thought is 'Why?'. It's the 'why?' that is valuable, and within everyone's grasp as a photographer.

Mrcurtain 09-22-2003 03:02 AM

Re: Any way to find out...
Along with this is there any way to figure out which of your critiques have been rated as 'not useful'. I rated a bunch of photos recently and received a bunch of 'not usefuls'. I don't care who marked it as such, but am very curious which ratings were less than appreciated.

-Adam #2

BobTrips 09-22-2003 03:29 AM

Adam #2's critiques...
Following up on this post I just read through two pages of Adam's critiques. I found them all to be positive (no "This is Crap!" type posts) and all to have some critical content (no "Great Shot!" posts).

Seems like the site has a problem person or persons as Adam #1 has suggested. IMO 'Not Useful' means that there is nothing in the critique that you can use to look at your photo in a different manner.

One certainly doesn't have to agree with the critiquer. I've gotten some critiques that I certainly didn't agree with, but I valued the ideas. The ideas got me to look more closely at my work, to consider another approach to presenting the image.

This site has remained incredibly free of trolls and other juvenile-type behavior. As we grow there are likely to be more people who just don't get it. I guess Adam #1 is going to have to sort this out.


A#2 - I, too, would like to know which of my critiques have been judged to be not useful. The identification would be very difficult without identifying the person who checked the NU. One would generally guess that the NU came from the photographer who really didn't want his/her photograph critiqued, just praised.


A#1 - (the Original Adam, at least as far as this site is concerned...) - What if a box popped up when someone clicked on 'Not Useful' that reminded the individual why that box was there and asked them for a confirmation to continue? Sort of like, 'Do you really want to post a TOS violation?'.

adam 09-22-2003 04:58 AM

Re: Any way to find out...
"I don't care who marked it as such, but am very curious which ratings were less than appreciated."

Due to the potential for conflict between members by viewing this, this will not be possible. However I have recently checked out some critique ratings and have noticed significant retribution/reward (without warrant) taking place. Therefore, the TOS has been revised to discourage this. If I encounter such behavior, all ratings by the member will be removed, and the ability to rate critiques will be removed.

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